New Tank got Cloudy and has particles in the water

ChatFdo

Hi All,
I'm a new member to this community. I bought my daughter her first fish tank last week. (My first fish tank as well :D ). So it is a small 32L tank with internal filter. We washed gravel and ornaments before placing in the tank. Then filled up with tap water and added Water conditioner and Starter bacteria. We added a small heater because she wanted some ember tetras. After few days we took a water sample to the store and they told the water is fine. So we got our fish and put them in the tank. At this point the water was crystal clear. But after a day all the 6 tetras died. They were going here and there near the top of the tank before die so I thought they need some oxygen. I measured PH level and it was 7.0. Ammonia 0, Nitrate 0. So I put a air pump with 2 airs tones. ( Sadly this was done after the fish died ). Now its been 8 days since we setup the tank. No Fish for 2 days. Tank water is cloudy. So I changed water about 40%. But still seems cloudy and I can see white small partials in the water. I don't have any plants in my tank. Just gravel and few small ornaments. Is this the bacterial bloom? Or I have to change the water completely before adding fish again? Appreciate any help since I have no experience with fish at all.
 

Cue

Welcome!

did you cycle your tank? How did you cycle it? It sounds like the fish store may have lied, accidentally or purposefully. Bacterial blooms are completely normal and you definitely did good changing the water, asking for the exact parameters and not settling for ‘fine’. Almost everybody on this forum has been in your situation and there are lots of very knowledgeable people here!
 

ChatFdo

Welcome!

did you cycle your tank? How did you cycle it? It sounds like the fish store may have lied, accidentally or purposefully. Bacterial blooms are completely normal and you definitely did good changing the water, asking for the exact parameters and not settling for ‘fine’. Almost everybody on this forum has been in your situation and there are lots of very knowledgeable people here!
Thank you for the quick reply. Upto the knowledge I have now, I think I haven't done cycling. What I did was adding the Water conditioner and Startup bacteria to the tank after filling it for the first time. Then waited for 4 days before taking a water sample to the store. I bought the ammonia and Ph test kits after my fish tragically died. If you can help me with some suggestions to start cycling at this point that would be really great :)
 

MsMarvel

Thank you for the quick reply. Upto the knowledge I have now, I think I haven't done cycling. What I did was adding the Water conditioner and Startup bacteria to the tank after filling it for the first time. Then waited for 4 days before taking a water sample to the store. I bought the ammonia and Ph test kits after my fish tragically died. If you can help me with some suggestions to start cycling at this point that would be really great :)
I am really sorry to hear your tetras died, but it sounds like you are doing a great job of looking into this. I started just a few months ago into the hobby and spend most of my free time researching. There is so much to learn and it is one of the things I love about this hobby. Personally, I did a fishless cycle using ammonia powder after adding the startup bacteria. Fish stores often say fishless is unnecessary (but considering they are selling fish that might be a bit biased lol) and cycling can definitely be done with fish, but it requires a lot more care and oversight as mistakes can have consequences. For starting off I really recommend a fishless cycle. If you can get some I recommend fritz ammonia, but if you can't aquire or don't wish to use pure ammonia you can use fish food instead. It will take a bit longer and it is harder to control the amount you are starting the cycle with, but the food will decay and the cycle will begin and end eventually. After it is done and you are at 0 ammonia / 0 nitrites / some nitrates then you can slowly start adding fish. My process took about a month and then I started with 8 ember tetras. My 40 gallon is now thriving with 20 embers, 12 amanos, 12 neocaridinas, a flower shrimp, and plenty of plants. The process requires a lot of patience, but it is worth it in the end and I wish you the best of luck in setting up your home for your aquatic family!
 

ChatFdo

I am really sorry to hear your tetras died, but it sounds like you are doing a great job of looking into this. I started just a few months ago into the hobby and spend most of my free time researching. There is so much to learn and it is one of the things I love about this hobby. Personally, I did a fishless cycle using ammonia powder after adding the startup bacteria. Fish stores often say fishless is unnecessary (but considering they are selling fish that might be a bit biased lol) and cycling can definitely be done with fish, but it requires a lot more care and oversight as mistakes can have consequences. For starting off I really recommend a fishless cycle. If you can get some I recommend fritz ammonia, but if you can't aquire or don't wish to use pure ammonia you can use fish food instead. It will take a bit longer and it is harder to control the amount you are starting the cycle with, but the food will decay and the cycle will begin and end eventually. After it is done and you are at 0 ammonia / 0 nitrites / some nitrates then you can slowly start adding fish. My process took about a month and then I started with 8 ember tetras. My 40 gallon is now thriving with 20 embers, 12 amanos, 12 neocaridinas, a flower shrimp, and plenty of plants. The process requires a lot of patience, but it is worth it in the end and I wish you the best of luck in setting up your home for your aquatic family!
Thank you for the great explanation :) I will go with the fish food method. ( Since I have a bottle of it and no fish left lol ) and will keep testing the water every other day. Thank you again :)
 

MsMarvel

Thank you for the great explanation :) I will go with the fish food method. ( Since I have a bottle of it and no fish left lol ) and will keep testing the water every other day. Thank you again :)
You're welcome! The people of FishLore have helped me so much and now that I am starting to become more knowledgeable about the hobby I hope to help out new members like everyone here did for me.

That sounds like a plan. Every other day is a good schedule for water changes and if you want to save yourself some time you can just test ammonia/nitrite for now. Those will show before you ever get any nitrates so you don't really need to deal with the whole tedious nitrate test until you reach a point where you are encountering nitrites. I would still test nitrates at least once a week, but you don't need to do it every time. I look forward to seeing updates on your progress if you decide to post them!
 

StarGirl

It will take roughly 2-3 weeks before you start to see nitrites. Just try to get your ammonia up to 2-4ppm for now. It will take pretty much a month or more to cycle so patients plays a big part. Don't get frustrated if nothing starts immediately. :)
 

FishDin

The fish store told you the water was good because it was just dechlorinated tap water. You hadn't started the cycle yet (by feeding ammonia) so there was nothing for them to measure. So of course it showed zero ammonia and nitrite. If they knew what they were doing, they would have been able to discern this. Fish stores are often a poor source of fish keeping advice. They could have helped you avoid this situation.
 

SparkyJones

After few days we took a water sample to the store and they told the water is fine. So we got our fish and put them in the tank. At this point the water was crystal clear. But after a day all the 6 tetras died.

The people at pet stores are generally poorly educated at fishkeeping, that know less than you do on keeping fish.

They tested the water, got 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate, and concluded "the water is fine!"

Well yeah it's gonna be zeros, there's no fish, no ammonia, no bacteria, and no cycle on it, it's all zeros for a reason!

All 6 tetras died from their own ammonia they produced because the people at the store don't know or don't care to ask why everything has tested zeros when your water should be testing for nitrates,, SOMETHING showing up, if it was cycled and not just completely new water.

Cloudy water is normal for a tank that's cycling at points, gets cloudy, clears somewhat,, gets cloudy again and it clears up and stays clear after the cycle is complete.
 

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